BTS releases nationwide geographic database

BTS releases nationwide geographic database

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics last month released a set of nationwide geographic information system data about transportation facilities.

The National Transportation Atlas Databases 2001 contains 20 layers of data, including information on railroads, roads and airports, said Carol Brandt, program manager of geographic information services at BTS.

Transportation Department agencies such as the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Railroad Administration submit the data to the bureau, which has been compiling the GIS database every year since 1996.

The database is available on CD-ROM from BTS or on the Web at The data is used for research and analysis by state transportation agencies, academic institutions and planners, Brandt said.

In response to requests from users, the bureau is creating the atlas in Shapefile format, which is compatible with most GIS software, said Steve Lewis, GIS applications manager at BTS.

Previously data was available in ASCII files that were not readily usable, he said.

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